Design Hits New Performance Heights

An international aerial imaging company needed a new lens assembly concept that required design and fabrication expertise.

Challenge:

An international aerial imaging company approached JML with a new lens assembly concept that required design and fabrication expertise. Their requirements included:  long focal length, fast aperture, high resolution, wide field of view, athermal performance, and ruggedness, assembled in a very compact package with quick prototype turnaround. The solution also required extremely tight production quantity tolerances.

While many other optical manufacturers declined attempting this project due to the technical difficulties, JML Optical rose to the challenge of producing a quick turnaround, high performing optical system.

Solution:

JML’s mechanical engineering & optical design teams collaborated with the customer to gain a clear understanding of their vision for the design. Upon completion of a state-of-the-art optical design and high-tolerance optical component fabrication, the precision assembly was completed. Due to high volume and tight production deadlines, a precise and reliable manufacturing process was developed to ensure customer satisfaction in all areas.

Several rapid prototype lenses were manufactured for aerial field testing. While initial results were acceptable, the prototype process uncovered opportunities for improved performance. In an example of success-based capital expenditures, JML invested significantly in metrology upgrades to perform the testing desired by the customer and improve performance and the manufacturability of the system.

The JML team continued to collaborate with the customer to fully integrate the lens assembly to the aircraft’s image capture system. Subsequently, JML’s design team was able to identify and recommend additional improvements to the imaging path, exceeding customer expectations. Additional design improvements continued to compliment the assembly, ultimately improving the final images produced by the system.

Results

Customer feedback confirms the JML designed and manufactured solution continues to produce exceptional imagery in the field. The customer has expressed praise on multiple occasions for the technical expertise in optical design and high-resolution assemblies provided by JML Optical. A strong technical and programmatic working relationship continues to provide industry leading results.

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